Are you ready for a Midwest Whitetail Rut forecast based on proven strategies, that you can actually take to the field? Then you have come to the right place. In fact, you can use these details to predict your own rut forecast for the entire North 1/2 of the whitetail range.
*If you like learning all that you can about mature buck hunting strategies, make sure that you check out my"Whitetail Success By Design"series of books.
For several years on this site, and even in my books, I have detailed how hunting the various cold fronts that travel through the season can pay huge rewards. This is a method I have been using literally, since the early 90s; at a time when my best weather source was deciphering the local conditions from a marine radio forecast in MI's thumb area. Several years ago I created a 45 day weather forecast, which eventually led to a 30 day forecast last year. Now this year...I hope you enjoy this forecast, by the week!
This Midwest Whitetail Rut forecast is about predicting the weekly high value days for you to make sure that you are sitting in a tree stand for. Bonified High Value Sits are greatly outnumbered by poor to moderate value days, so it pays to be tuned in to both the weather, and this rut forecast to make sure that you don't miss out on some incredible mature buck opportunities!
Make sure to also apply the priority of sits when weighing your decision to take the woods, or not. As the season progresses, the value of the most highly predicted days to be in the woods will increase substantially to the days of the annual whitetail rut. Here is how I personally place a priority on any upcoming sits:
1. From Pre to Post, nothing beats the RUT
2. The first week to 10 days of the bow season are often a missed, but extremely high value time to hit the whitetail woods, especially for the well-prepared hunter.
3. Although the dreaded "October Lull" is largely hunter induced, this period of time still falls behind the early season and especially the rut, when it comes to consistent mature buck harvest opportunities.
High Value sit days are few and far between because there are 3 Variables that need to take place in order for you to find proven success: The Set Up, The Drop, and The Calm
Midwest Whitetail Rut Forecast Necessities
Without these 3 critical variables taking place, than your trip to the woods will most likely be just another day. However when these 3 variables take place, the potential sits that are created for you are worth more than the rest of the sits during the week, combined.
1. The Set Up
Without the actual set up for the best days to be in the woods, there would not actually be any High Value days to predict.
Warm weather, stormy weather, and any set of consistently poor conditions all serve to set up an incredible day to be in the woods. The longer the set up, the better. I have experienced that the value of each day of set up increases, up through 5 days. What that means is that a 1 day "set up", isn't much of a set up at all. However when a high quality day is set up by 3-4 days or more, the conditions have been created for a potential can't miss day to be in the woods.
2. The Drop
Folks, it doesn't matter if it is September, October or November; if you see a 10 degree temperature drop or more, make sure that you head to the woods! Although I really start to take notice of at least a 5 degree temp drop, I prefer at least an 8-10 degree change in the forecast. The more extreme the conditions during the front (high winds, thunder, heavy rain) along with the larger the temperature change, the higher the value of the potential sits, when the conditions calm.
3. The Calm
The first high pressure cool and clear day that you can recognize following the front, make sure to hit the woods! Keep in mind that predicting a high value sit goes well beyond focusing merely on high pressure conditions. Without the The Set Up and The Drop, a good "high pressure day", is just another day in the woods.
*Check out the above bucks that have fallen to these same Midwest Whitetail Rut cold weather predictions, just during the past couple of weeks of the season!For a complete guide to hunting during the rollercoaster of opportunity created by the cold weather fronts, make sure to check out "Whitetail Cold Front Hunting Strategies".
October 12th: Your Weekly Midwest Whitetail Rut Forecast
This most likely will not look exactly like your weather forecast because I chose the major, Midwestern city of Chicago for a central example of this week's prediction. If you are West of Chicago by 200 miles or more than your High Value Sit forecast will be a 1/2 day or more Earlier than predicted. If you are 200 miles or more East of Chicago, then your High Value Sit forecast will be a 1/2 day or more Later than predicted.
The key is to be able to plug in your own conclusions based on the set up, the drop, and the calm as predicted in the forecast for your area. However in this week's forecast, check out the following:
*Tuesday, October 13th reflects a 12 degree temperature drop, which is significant for this time of year! Temperature drops are all relative, meaning that the end temperature is often not as critical as the amount of the drop itself. The 12 degree temperature drop to 62 is very good, but following 3 days of temperatures in the mid 70s to 80s is what really set's up this day to be most likely the best in the week.
*Friday, October 16th brings a14 degree temperature drop to the table of mature buck opportunity. Hopefully rain or high winds will help servet to set up a very high value day to be in the woods!
*As always there will be a handful of good to fair days to be in the woods, but don't forget that just 1 high value can't miss day is typically worth more than the rest of the lower value days during the week, combined.
*The Moon will offer a quality, low impact influence over whitetail feeding times, with the start of the New Moon phase taking place early in the week. Expect feeding times to be early during the afternoon and evening hours due to dark skies during the early hours of the night. Without the influence of a full moon, typical early morning mature buck movements will take place from daybreak to the hours of mid morning. You can expect very little mid-day movements during this moon phase, with the exception of feeding on natural food sources of mast or high quality native browse, directly adjacent to mature buck bedding areas.
Sit Timing: October 12th Midwest Whitetail Rut Forecast
Hunters tend to get overly excited during this time of the season. Monster scrapes, some tickling of the antlers, a giant rub or two and even some light chasing can lure folks into a rut-crazed frenzy; even though the Pre Rut is still a couple of weeks or more. So don't be fooled, you should employ the same tactics that you began the season with, including:
1. High priority evening sits
It's all about the weather when it comes to evening feeding intensity levels. Make sure above all else, to place a high priority on evening sits within the recommended sit opportunities.
2. Morning Opportunities
For late morning to lunchtime hunts during a Full Moon phase, or early morning hunts during a dark or New Moon phase, caution is key. Make sure to avoid lines of bedding to feeding movements during the morning, that you will be hunting during the evening hours for a higher priority sit. Although your focus should shift during the Pre Rut, we aren't there yet! I like to concentrate on long transition areas between feeding and bedding during early morning New Moon hunts as well as sits on the backside of a bedding areas, and then quality natural browse adjacent to mature buck bedding areas during late morning Full Moon opportunities.
*Make sure to stay tuned though, because when and where you should time your sits during the coming weeks will be changing drastically! Just keep in mind that for this week you do not want to potentially reduce the quality of a higher quality evening sit, to take a chance on a morning hunt.
By learning to apply these proven cold front techniques to your midwest whitetail rut hunting efforts the entire season, you will be well prepared for the mature buck opportunities created during the entire whitetail rut!
Although this will most likely not be an exact forecast for your area, this can serve as a fairly accurate guide for your own prediction efforts. Follow this rut forecast each week, as we ride the rollercoaster of high and low value sit opportunities, from now through the end of the whitetail rut in your area.